Tuesday, November 15, 2011

20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932)

Director: Michael Curtiz

Starring: Spencer Tracy, Bette Davis, Arthur Byron, Lyle Talbot, Warren Hymer, Louis Calhern

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Toughest hell-hole in the world!

Plot: Brash hoodlum Tom Connors enters Sing Sing cocksure of himself and disrespectful toward authority, but his tough but compassionate warden changes him.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Nah. Once was fine.

In a way, this is just a standard prison redemption flick but the difference is it starts Spencer Tracy and Bette Davis (holy crap was she young and hot) and they both turn in very fine performances. Hell, everyone does a great job.

One thing that's kind of neat is the Warden let's Tracy out (on the honor system of all things) to see his dying girlfriend. I thought Tracy was going to do the right thing by coming right back but he's got a score to settle and it doesn't go exactly as planned. That whole last couple of reels elevates the picture in to something more than anything typical of the day. And you've got to love those pre-code flicks with their scandalous nature...


Now that's worth bustin' outta prison for!

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